Payment giant Trustwave acquires BitArmor

13 Jan 2010

On-demand data security and payment card technology giant Trustwave has acquired data-encryption player BitArmor for an undisclosed sum.

IT security technologies such as Data Loss Prevention (DLP), Network Access Control (NAC), Intrusion Detection (IDS) and Prevention Systems (IPS), and Unified Threat Management (UTM) are already part of Trustwave’s comprehensive security suite and form the basis of a multi-layered strategy to ensure the continuous protection of information.

The core of BitArmor’s solution is its Smart Tag technology, which provides a simplified and more effective approach to encryption due to its focus on the protection of the data itself – not the devices to which data is saved or the networks over which the data travels.

How Smart Tag technology functions

Smart Tag technology works by attaching encryption policies to each file or folder resulting in Persistent File Encryption (PFE). This ensures that the data can only be viewed by an authorised user regardless of the devices they use, such as desktops and laptops, USB drives, email attachments, storage servers, file shares and tapes.

The Smart Tag technology is available as a hosted or non-hosted service based on customer preferences. Trustwave will be integrating this technology into its current DLP and endpoint security technology to provide an effective solution to discover and protect sensitive data for compliance, privacy and intellectual property protection.

In addition to its specific relevance to Requirements 3 and 4 of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), new state and federal data privacy regulations are also increasing the demand for encryption. While many states have required public notification of data breaches for years, recent legislation in Nevada and Massachusetts specifically mandates encryption of personal information.


The federal Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, passed in 2009, stiffens penalties for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) violations and widens its scope to include any company that processes personal information, not just healthcare organisations themselves. This includes law firms, accounting firms and records processors previously unaffected by the legislation.

“This acquisition enables us to help businesses meet evolving data-security and compliance requirements as dictated by industry standards, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and regulations that mandate the protection of personally identifiable information,” said Robert J McCullen, chairman and CEO of Trustwave.

“Integrating BitArmor’s industry-leading Smart Tag technology into our software enhances our endpoint security offering.”

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years